relations committee and a war veteran. secretary of state hillary clinton could not attend the ceremony. she is recovering from the flu and a concussion from a fall. >>> the christmas holiday began on capitol hill without an agreement reached on how to avoid the fiscal cliff. president obama called on party leaders to take action before he left for his holiday vacation in hawaii. >> good afternoon. >> reporter: after speaking with leaders friday afternoon president obama called on congress to quickly come up with a solution to avert some tax hikes and spending cuts. >> i have asked leaders to work towards a package that presents a tax hike, protects unemployment insurance, and lays the ground work for further work on both growth and deficit reduction. >> reporter: remarks came after speaker of the house john boehner failed to bring plan b to the floor. it would have raised taxes on those americans making more than $1 million a year. >> we had a number of our members who just really didn't want to be perceived as raising taxes. >> reporter: the two sides left blaming each other for inaction.